One of the most popular recipes on Naturally Sassy also happens to be one of the first I published here, my Perfect Kale Salad. This recipe has served me well over the years – it accompanies most dishes well, with a mixture of sweet, bitter, creamy, crisp and crunchy. If I’m honest I’ve never really felt the need to experiment with alternate kale salads, when you’ve found the one you love why change things. This recipe pushed me to use kale in a more versatile salad – a twist on a caesar salad, an old favourite of mine. You can, of course, use butter lettuce for this recipe but to me, kale adds a little more interest. This leafy green absorbs flavour a little better than lettuce and tends to be less watery. It’s nutritionally dense, and full of fibre, what’s not to love! If you’re unsure feel free to try 1/2 kale and 1/2 butter lettuce.
Kale is full-on nutritional benefits, and dressed well can be just as delicious as it is good for you. Kale contains B vitamins including folate, which is essential for the production of energy in the body. Kale also contains Vitamin E and C, important antioxidants to support the immune system.
This recipe is comprised of 6 key elements: Kale leaves, cooked quinoa, chickpea ‘croutons’, sun-dried tomatoes, avocado and the most important part, the caesar dressing. You’re going to want to make this dressing by the vat… it’s SO good.
2 bags of Kale (roughly 350g)
2 cups cooked Quinoa, cold
1/2 cup Sun-dried Tomatoes
1 14oz can of Chickpeas, drained
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cumin
2 tsp garlic powder
Preheat the oven to 190C.
To start check you have all ingredients ready. If you don’t have cooked quinoa do this first, adding 1 cup of dry quinoa to 2 cups of water in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Once fully cooked pour into a cold bowl and leave to completely cool.
Next let’s make the garlic chickpea “croutons”. In a bowl add the chickpeas, 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Mix until all chickpeas are coated in this oil mix. Line a roasting tray with foil or parchment paper and pour on top. Cook for 20-25 minutes until crunchy.
Wash and de-stem kale, placing the leaves only into a large bowl.
Next make the dressing. Using a blender add in the cashews, water, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, spicy mustard, garlic, maple syrup, vegan parmesan (optional) and salt/pepper to taste. Blend until smooth. Mix in the minced capers, but don’t blend.
Pour the dressing into the bowl with your salad, using your hands start to massage the dressing into the kale leaves. Do this for 3-5 minutes until the kale leaves have wilted.
Now, add in the other salad ingredients. Quarter the sun-dried tomatoes and slice the avocado. Add to the mixing bowl with the cooked quinoa. Top with your garlic croutons.